DOI: 10.1111/bjet.13381 ISSN:

Speaking proficiency and affective effects in EFL: Vlogging as a social media‐integrated activity

Seunghee Jin
  • Education

This study introduces an innovative approach to improving speaking proficiency among Korean EFL learners through the use of vlogs, further evaluating their impact on learners' foreign language speaking anxiety (FLSA) and willingness to communicate (WTC). In this semester‐long experiment, 49 university students were divided into an experimental group (n = 25) and a control group (n = 24). The former engaged in vlogging activities, while the latter received traditional instruction devoid of social networking. Data were collected via pre‐ and post‐questionnaires on FLSA and WTC, coupled with pre‐ and posttests assessing speaking skills. Vlogging significantly decreased FLSA and bolstered WTC in Korean EFL learners, demonstrating a marked improvement when contrasted with the control group. Additionally, the experimental group, engaged in vlogging, displayed superior advancement in vocabulary, comprehension, fluency and task proficiency. However, no discernible enhancements were observed in speaking accuracy when compared to the control group. With the evidence of reduced anxiety, increased communication willingness and enhanced speaking proficiency in the vlogging group, this study provides a concrete foundation for EFL teachers to consider integrating vlogging and similar social media‐based activities into language instruction. This approach could contribute to creating more engaging and comfortable learning environments, aiding learners in overcoming affective barriers and improving their language skills.

Practitioner notes

What is already known about this topic

Prior research in second language acquisition probed the impact of social media on diverse language learning areas: vocabulary, intercultural learning, speaking skills, pronunciation and writing skills.

Social media‐integrated language learning demonstrated potential in enhancing oral proficiency among English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners.

Limited research exists exploring the influence of social media, especially vlogging, on EFL learners' speaking skills and affective factors such as Willingness to Communicate (WTC) and speaking anxiety.

What this paper adds

This study demonstrates that a learning environment cultivated via social media, particularly vlogging, improves speaking proficiency and positively influences affective factors like Foreign Language Speaking Anxiety (FLSA) and WTC.

The findings suggest that social media‐integrated speaking activities, specifically vlogging, offer a beneficial and effective pedagogical strategy to ameliorate speaking proficiency, FLSA, and WTC in supportive and non‐intimidating contexts.

Implications for practice and/or policy

This study offers crucial insights for EFL teachers planning courses to enhance speaking proficiency:

The integration of vlogging and similar social media‐based activities into language instruction is strongly supported by the evidence of reduced anxiety, increased communication willingness and enhanced speaking proficiency in the vlogging group. This study provides a concrete foundation for such innovative approaches.

The creation of an engaging, interactive and stress‐free learning environment is essential, enabling learners to practice speaking English without anxiety. This approach can also aid learners in overcoming affective barriers and enhancing their language skills.

EFL educators should prioritize improving key attitudinal factors, such as anxiety and WTC. These factors significantly contribute to the holistic development of oral proficiency.

When incorporating social media‐based speaking activities like vlogging, teachers' targeted feedback on recurring learner mistakes can foster improvements in speaking accuracy.

EFL teachers must recognize their critical role in nurturing a supportive, non‐intimidating environment, paving the way for learners to effectively enhance their speaking proficiency.

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